FANS' ZONE 05/03/2021
TIME TO CONCENTRATE ON PROMOTION AS GULLS EXIT FA TROPHY
No football fan wishes their team to lose in the Quarter-Finals of a cup competition but just maybe the majority of the Yellow Army were not sorry to see the Gulls slip to a one goal defeat to Woking in Saturday’s FA Trophy - providing United do what every club says on these occasions, ‘we’re now going to concentrate on the league’ with that meaning promotion.
Mind you it was a weekend of baffling decisions by match officials when you look at the Six Nations clash in Cardiff, the Premier League games at The Hawthorns and Stamford Bridge not to mention United’s disallowed goal in sunny Surrey.
These remain difficult Covid times despite the gradual relaxation of lockdown rules having been announced. Whilst we, football supporters, have our own situations to manage, spare a thought for sportsmen and women who have to spend their lives in their secure bubbles. Take United’s Fraser Kerr, hundreds of miles from home, not playing, and wanting to negotiate his contract so he can return to his family which, with his move to Chesterfield, he has now achieved.
A number of Yellow Army fans are currently questioning the club’s escalating injury list and frustrating as it is to have more injured than available, it’s not just Torquay suffering from this problem.
With Kyle Cameron the latest to succumb to a hamstring pull he’s not alone. There are numerous players in other divisions unavailable, for example in the latest round of Premier matches of 82 players not available for selection 25 were due to thigh/hamstring problems which most agree is down to lack of recuperation time with there being three matches a week, including Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Newcastle’s Callum Wilson.
Manager Gary Johnson has tried to address these criticisms in this week’s ‘Inside Plainmoor’ with some pretty detailed frank answers and in the earlier Yellow Army podcast.
Since the results of the National League vote there’s still no news about the way forward. Dartford manager Steve King talks some sense when he says what should happen: for there to be promotion into the EFL there has to be relegation into Step 2. And for that to happen there has to be promotion from North and South. To achieve this King says the remaining clubs who want to continue - 19 spread over North & South - are given 2-0 wins and three points from the clubs not playing as well as using the points already accumulated.
So what’s going to happen about Dover’s refusal to play, subject to an Independent Panel’s review? If their results are expunged how would the current table look, after Tuesday night’s results? Well, it would look like this:
P W D L GF GA GD PTS
Sutton Utd 22 14 4 4 41 21 20 46
Torquay Utd 23 13 5 5 44 24 20 44
Hartlepool Utd 25 13 5 7 34 24 10 44
Notts County 21 11 5 5 28 16 12 38
Eastleigh 23 10 8 5 30 21 9 38
Stockport 23 10 7 6 29 21 8 37
Wrexham 24 10 6 8 31 26 5 36
In other National League news FC Halifax are taking out a Sports England loan to survive; Yeovil Town have run out of money; Chesterfield, Wealdstone and Weymouth have furloughed players while King’s Lynn’s future changes on a daily basis.
On the other side of the coin, Wrexham’s Holywood owners have announced an incentive scheme whereby every time the side wins, albeit within the play-off places, the players get a £200 bonus for a win and £50 for a draw. Is this possible for players’ contracts to be changed mid season?
And an interesting stat, with Danny Wright in the side the Gulls score 2.2 goals per games but without him it’s 1.3. Let’s hope new signing Scott Boden can fill those - and his - boots!
Good luck to ex-Gulls striker Lee Phillips who has taken his first steps into management after joining the coaching staff at South Western Premier West side St. Blazey.
From your comments the time’s not right for a Gary Johnson statue ( nor even ones for Leroy Rosenior or Paul Bastard if you listened to Charlie Baker on last week’s YA podcast ) and Gary may not thank me for reminding him it was four years ago this month, 2017, he had life saving surgery with a triple heart by-pass (followed by a serious attack on his nervous system) in the Bristol Royal Infirmary and this is where I have been, having had my double heart by-pass last week hence the missing column.
TUST is holding a Zoom Social on Monday, March 8 from 6.30pm, this is an opportunity for members and non-members to chat with TUST officials and we would love you to join us. Look out for an invite over the weekend.
As always if you have any news and views you would like to share contact me at: email@example.com. or Twitter: @FanszoneT.
With the real possibility of the Yellow Army returning to Plainmoor for the final home match against Barnet on May 22, stay safe and, when offered, get your vaccination.